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Extended Audio Sample Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Ratey Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,633 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John J. Ratey Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A groundbreaking and fascinating investigation into the transformative effects of exercise on the brain, from the bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist John J. Ratey, MD.

Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.

In Spark, John J. Ratey, MD, embarks upon a fascinating and entertaining journey through the mind-body connection, presenting startling research to prove that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to aggression to menopause to Alzheimer’s. Filled with amazing case studies (such as the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, which has put this school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores), Spark is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It will change forever the way you think about your morning run—or, for that matter, simply the way you think.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “At last a book that explains to me why I feel so much better if I run in the morning! This very readable book describes the science behind the mind-body connection and adds to the evidence that exercise is the best way to stay healthy, alert, and happy!”

    Dr. Susan Love, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This book is a real turning point that explains something I’ve been trying to figure out for years. Having experienced symptoms of both ADHD and mild depression, I have personally witnessed the powerful effects of exercise, and I’ve suspected that the health benefits go way beyond just fitness. Exercise is not simply necessary, as Dr. Ratey clearly shows, it’s medicine.”

    Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France

  • “Bravo! This is an extremely important book. What Cooper did decades ago for exercise and the heart, Ratey does in Spark for exercise and the brain. Everyone—teachers, doctors, managers, policy-makers, individuals trying to lead the best kind of life—can benefit enormously from the utterly convincing and brilliantly documented thesis of this ground-breaking work. People know that exercise helps just about everything, except anorexia, but it will surprise most people just how dramatically it improves all areas of mental functioning. So, get moving! Your brain will thank you and repay you many times over.”

    Edward Hallowell, MD

  • Spark is just what we need—a thoughtful, interesting, scientific treatise on the powerful and positive impact of exercise on the brain. In mental health, exercise is a growth stock and Ratey is our best broker.”

    Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lori | 2/20/2014

    " Actually, I read some, skimmed some, but found the arguments valuable, and think we all ought to get out and do more, for our brain's benefit (I can say that after a two mile walk today--my first in a few weeks--I'm pretty inconsistent). If we're not exercise fans, there are reasons for that, and the author presents to good reasons to reconsider our position. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kate | 2/19/2014

    " I'm not sure I buy everything in this book, but it did help me think about working exercise into my day a little more often. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by David | 2/18/2014

    " This book is a review of much of the research that has been published in the past decade or so, on the subject of exercise's effects on the brain. It is an absolutely first-rate book. I have read a lot about how exercise improves one's mood. But I had not realized the many other benefits to one's brain, intelligence, memory, problem solving, that are induced by exercise. The very first chapter describes how a strong school exercise program has benefited an entire school district. Exercise can actually induce physical enhancements to the brain, for example, increase the volume of the hypothalamus by up to 30%. This book is quite amazing--highly recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Valentina Tkachenko | 2/18/2014

    " Awesome book, very inspirational. Highly recommended. Plenty of research to back up the conclusions. "

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